Essential New Music: Ty Segall’s “Freedom’s Goblin”

You can be forgiven for not keeping up with Ty Segall’s myriad releases (at minimum an album a year), but you could do worse than use Freedom’s Goblin as your chance to catch up. It’s a 19-track double LP of Segall’s many moods, from acoustic love songs to extended guitar jams to, most often, fuzzed-out rock.

Like the similarly prolific Bob Pollard, Segall draws on classic lexicons—in his case, the deep vocabulary of stoner metal, glam and scuzzy garage rock—but he’s eager to subvert expectations, too. He’ll add horns as sweeteners, or take a ’70s disco track (Hot Chocolate’s “Every 1’s A Winner”) and railroad it into a grand-funk stomp. Even at its most abrasive or cartoonishly violent, Freedom’s Goblin has hooks and strong songwriting, and the quality is more consistent than Segall’s norm. Of course, Segall’s not really interested in consistency or norms. He likes his rock ’n’ roll damaged and weird.

—Steve Klinge